St. Paul woman charged with starting several fires in Minnesota Building

A woman is in custody and facing charges after she allegedly set multiple fires inside an apartment building in St. Paul.

Court records show 37-year-old Guadalupe Castillo, of St. Paul, is charged with two counts of first-degree arson in connection to fires that were set inside the Minnesota Building on Monday.

According to court documents, St. Paul police and firefighters were called to the building — which is mostly apartments with some commercial space — at around 4:20 a.m. on a report that multiple fires had been started in the building.

Authorities found fires in the lobby, two stairwells, the basement and the third floor of a stairwell.

The criminal complaint states that residents in one unit told authorities that Castillo came into their apartment, took several rolls of paper towels, then used the paper towels to start fires around the building.

Officers arrested Castillo, who was standing outside the building without shoes, the complaint notes. She was also wearing the same clothes and seen in surveillance video. Upon her arrest, she allegedly told officers that she’d ingested meth, so she was taken to a hospital before being booked in jail.

A building operations official told police the building experienced “significant” water damage due to sprinkler activations and the fires themselves, with both elevators likely needing to be replaced. The complaint adds that the initial damage estimate topped $300,000.

Castillo’s first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday morning. If convicted, each charge carries up to 20 years in jail.

Before this incident, court records show Castillo had an active warrant for allegedly stealing a vehicle in Roseville back in January.